February 28, 2011

Guest Post - K.C. on Maximizing Rebate Offers

My wife K.C. offered to write a guest post yesterday after she read all of my rebate posts from the other day.  Hey, less work for me.  Enjoy, and hopefully save a few bucks in the process.
_______________________________________________________________________

Hi There! it's Mrs. Troutrageous! a.k.a. The Diaper Bag Wrangler. This post is about 2 things: shopping and saving money- so guys, feel free to forward this to your ladies if you don't give a crap about the shopping part, but want to reinforce the "saving money" part.

I saw Mike posting all the rebates last night and I offered to write a guest post about maximizing your discounts when online shopping.  I  use 2 "cash back" websites - Ebates and Shop at Home. Essentially you join for free, use the sites to search for current online cash back rebates and/or coupons. Once you decide where to shop, you click on the link and are redirected to the retailer. When you make a purchase a % cash back rebate is deposited into your account and a check is sent to you either quarterly or when you reach a specific balance. It is really that easy!

Right now (at the time of this post) the cash back percentages for 2 major online fishing retailers are:

Cabela's:
Shop at Home - 3%
Ebates- 2%

Bass Pro Shops:
Shop at Home - 4.5%
Ebates - 4.5%

The percentage cash back can vary day to day/week to week, sometimes there are double cash back days, and not all online retailers participate, but it is FREE MONEY. There are also sometimes coupon codes for free shipping or exclusive promotions. I belong to both sites because a) sometimes an online retailer is offered through say Ebates, but not ShopatHome and b) the % cash back might vary between Ebates and ShopatHome.

Here are some examples of not only (1) getting the manufacturers rebates but also the (2) cash back rebates....I call it a "double dip". Have a Rewards card for Cabela's or Bass Pro? You, my friend have hit the "trifecta" (3). I am always intent on getting the best deal, so I put a little extra effort into not only checking which cash back site has the higher % cash back for a specific retail website, but which site has a the better retail price and/or shipping deal.

Mojo Rebate - Free Swag with Rod Purchase
http://www.troutrageous.com/2011/02/free-stuff-st-croix-mojo-bass-cap-shirt.html

Buy this rod at BassPro.com:



You can get this:
1. the mail-in Mojo Swag rebate from the manufacturer.
2. 4.5% cash back from either Ebates or Shop at Home (earn $4.50 back for a $100 rod)
3. Have a Bass Pro Outdoor Rewards Card? You will earn points on your purchase as well.


Abu Garcia - Rebate / Swag with Rod and Reel Purchase
http://www.troutrageous.com/2011/02/free-stuff-abu-garcia-2011-mail-in.html

Buy this Rod and Reel at BassPro.com:


You can get this:
1. the mail-in $25 cash back rebate AND the Swag rebate from the manufacturer.
2. 4.5% cash back from either Ebates or Shopat Home (earn $12.15 back for a $269.98 product total)
3. Have a Bass Pro Outdoor Rewards Card? You will earn points on your purchase as well.


My largest cash back conquest occurred when I recently booked our family trip to Walt Disney World. You can read about it HERE:
http://diaperbagwrangler.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-i-saved-483-on-my-walt-disney-world.html

February 27, 2011

A New Troutmobile

Before I fill you in on how I spent my Saturday, let me apologize for the "Free Stuff" posts that appear directly beneath this one.  See, every year I round up and post a lot of the manufacturer's rebates.  No, not out of the goodness of my heart to try and save you money, but rather as a cheap way to get traffic to my site.
Admitting you're a traffic whore is the first step toward recovery

You'd be surprised how many people show up over here by searching for "Berkley Line Rebate" or "I Want A Crappy T-Shirt Rebate" over the course of the year.  Rather than spread these posts out over several days, I figured I'd get them out of the way all at once.  So if you like 'em, enjoy.  If not, F-off.

Now to my Saturday.  I ended up buying that new car...or SUV to be more accurate.  After narrowing down our choices at the car show a few weeks ago, K.C. & I went with the Subaru Forester (again, we had a '03) as it had the best mix of what we were looking for - AWD, roomy back seat, good MPG, some adequate window space for fishing stickers, etc...
Silver, like old people hair

We did most of the buying online, and then I ended up going in and doing a tiny more haggling in person, before driving off with the new wheels.  This is the 2nd car we've bought online, and I'd totally recommend it, especially if you're not bothered by driving a little bit to that dealer that gives the best price.

Now I just gotta break her in.  Stick the rod holders in the new windows, drop in the all-weather mats, program the GPS to all the not-so-secret locations, and head toward gravel roads and riffles.  Do I smell a road trip?  Spring can't come soon enough.

Free Stuff - A Crapload of Fishing Line Rebates

There's a lot of fishing line rebates this Spring.  I'm sure I'm missing a ton, but here's a few I scrounged up for your reference.  Quite a few different brands, so there's a little bit for everyone.

P-Line
Receive a $6 rebate on the purchase of two spools of P-Line now through 3/15/2011.
http://www.p-line.com/specials/P-Line_Rebate2011.pdf


Berkley
This isn't necessarily just a line rebate, it's the Berkley Mix & Match Rebate.  Buy any combination of Line, Bait, Tools, or Rods and get some money back depending on how much you spend.

  • Buy $10, get $3 back
  • Buy $20, get $7 back
  • Buy $40, get $15 back

http://www.berkley-fishing.com/sites/default/files/mix-match-promo_0.pdf


Spiderwire
Receive a $7 rebate on the purchase of 1 spool of Spiderwire Stealth Braid or Ultracast Fluoro-Braid now through 7/31/2011.
http://www.spiderwire.com/images/4-10_rebate_form.pdf

Receive a free hat with the purchase of any 1 box of Spiderwire line now through 12/31/2011.
http://www.spiderwire.com/images/hat_promo_form.pdf


Sufix
Receive a free Sufix t-shirt with the purchase of 2 spools of Sufix Elite, Siege, or Elite Crankin' monofilament now through 9/15/2011.
http://www.sufix.com/downloads/download.php?f=sufix_2011_coupon.pdf


Stren
Receive a free hat with the purchase of any 1 box of Stren line now through 12/31/2011.
http://www.stren.com/images/hat_promo_form.pdf


Free Stuff - Berkley Long Sleeve T-Shirt Rebate

Yet another free t-shirt rebate. You think Pflueger, Shakespeare, and Berkley all answer to the same corporate marketing Mother Ship...?

Anywho...buy any Berkley rod (like one of these extremely popular Lightning Rods) now between 12/31/11 and get a free t-shirt.
Catch more fish

Download the Berkley T-Shirt Rebate form here:
http://www.berkley-fishing.com/sites/default/files/tshirt_promo_form.pdf

Free Stuff - Abu Garcia 2011 Mail In Rebates

Here's two rebates from Abu Garcia.  Good stuff too.

First you can get a FREE Abu Garcia hooded sweatshirt with the purchase of any Abu Garcia rod or reel $79.99 or more.
Love me some hoodies

Even better, you can get a $25 rebate if you purchase any Abu Garcia REVO reel and any Abu Garcia rod.

For example, pick up a REVO SX and pair it with a Veritas rod, and you qualify for both rebates!  Pretty sweet deal if you're looking to upgrade your gear this spring.





Download the Sweatshirt Rebate form here:
http://www.abugarcia.com/sites/default/files/hoodie_promo_form.pdf

Download the $25 Rebate form here:
http://www.abugarcia.com/sites/default/files/abu_promo_form_25MIR.pdf

Free Stuff - Ugly Stik Long Sleeve T-Shirt Rebate

Another t-shirt rebate, this time from Ugly Stik.

Buy an Ugly Stik rod or combo between now and 12/31/11, and get this handsome Ugly Stik tee for free.  Chicks dig Ugly Stiks, at least that what your Mom told me.

Most Sensitive, for your pleasure.

Download the Ugly Stik T-Shirt Rebate form here:
http://www.shakespeare-fishing.com/images/SKP_Claim_Form_Tshirt.pdf

Free Stuff - Pflueger Long Sleeve T-Shirt Rebate

This deal ain't new, but it's back for 2011, simple as ever.

Buy any Pflueger reel by 12/31/2011, get a free Pflueger long sleeve t-shirt.  That easy.
Nothing screams macho more than Pflueger across your chest

Download Pflueger T-Shirt Rebate form below:
http://www.pfluegerfishing.com/images/shirt_promo_form.pdf

Free Stuff - St. Croix Mojo Bass Cap, Shirt, & Decal Rebate

Some sweet gear is available by rebate if you decide to pick up a St. Croix Mojo Bass rod between now and June 30, 2011.  Check it out, a free t-shirt, free hat, and free decal is all for the taking!

You know you want some...

"The passionate angler is presented with many palettes to express their affections. Cars. Boats. T-shirts. Other people’s cars and boats. But ultimately the greatest expressions are not made with adhesive plastic but with a St. Croix® Mojo Bass rod. These technique-specific rods are fully loaded SCII graphite magic wands dressed up in a hot black-cherry metallic finish. And the components? Only the finest. No shortcuts were taken. In fact, they’ve become so popular we added two new glass models this year – the Crankster and Big Crankster. You’re welcome." 

Download the rebate form here:
http://www.stcroixrods.com/pdfs/Mojo_Bass_Free_Gear_Promo.pdf

February 26, 2011

First Impressions - Flying Fisherman Pago Polarized Sunglasses

I got some goodies in the mail last night.  Thanks to the OBN & Flying Fisherman, I was lucky enough to be selected as a tester for their Pago Polarized Sunglasses.  Free stuff is always good.

Now before I get into what they sent me and my initial thoughts, I should probably put out some sort of disclaimer.  Hobie Polarized Sunglasses is a quasi-sponsor of this website.  The offered up free product (much like Flying Fisherman is doing with OBN) for me to review and giveaway to a reader last Spring.  I really like my Hobies and would recommend them to anyone.  That said, I will not allow that relationship influence this review, only serve as a point of context.

That bit of business out of the way, when I tore open the box, I was kinda surprised with all the goodies on the inside.  Not only did they send a pair of Pago polarized sunglasses (in tobacco w/ amber lenses), but there was also one of those neoprene sunglass keepers "aka Eyeglass Retainer" as well as a bunch of marketing materials - catalogs, price lists, etc...  That's where I found out these guys are based out of Islamorada, FL, one of my favorite places on Earth.  Score one for Flying Fisherman, and the game hasn't even started yet.
The haul

So feeling all happy about what was in the box, I tossed the Pagos on and my wife immediately gives me one of those faces and comments, "oh, those are feminine."  Great.  I don't mention this as a slight on the glasses, only for the comedic effect.  I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially if the product performs on the water. I'm pretty sure the trout will not be quite as judgmental as K.C.
Feminine?  In the industry, that's what we call Unisex.

The sunglasses themselves...they appear to be pretty solidly constructed.  Other than a silver logo on each temple, there's not a lot fancy about the frames, they subscribe to the K.I.S.S. mantra.  They've got molded nose pads and large solidly built hinges.
Keep It Simple, Stupid

The arms (is that what you call them?) are nice and tall, which I assume will help put the brakes on peripheral light sneaking in.  That said, they're still fairly light on my face.  The lenses are made of what they call "Rhino Lens Polarized Polycarbonate," which means they're supposed to be pretty bad ass tough.  But probably not as tough as Chuck Norris, because when Chuck Norris stares into the sun, the sun closes its eyes.
You'd lose a staring contest with Chuck too.
See, you blinked already!

Anyway, the aforementioned marketing materials say these shades go for $59.95 at retail, and for that price they certainly won't disappoint from a construction standpoint.  But that's just cosmetics...and that's where this initial impressions overview ends. We'll see how they perform the next time I get out on the water.  I think we all know that's the most important thing in the end.

February 25, 2011

Plastic Buckets o' Trout

Found this on Vimeo last night. Looks like fishing in a big swimming pool to me, but who am I to judge?  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get your trout on.  I haven't caught a fish since New Year's, so I'd take some of that action right now.



Keeping my post low key today...waiting for the fun (or not) tonight.

February 24, 2011

A Missed Milestone

Yesterday's Wednesday Nibbles was a milestone for this blog.  And I totally missed the significance until today.  It was this blog's 500th* post.

Why the asterisk?  In this era of steroid-inflated everything, the 500 blog post milestone just doesn't resonate like it did back in the good ol' days.
Say it ain't so Joe!

No, in today's blogging world 500 blog posts is pretty commonplace.  Some bloggers hit that total in their first week of writing.  That magic number certainly doesn't guarantee you a spot in the Fishing Blog Hall of Fame (conveniently located somewhere in Northern California, I think).  It will probably get you on the Sports Medicine School's list though...
Where's Wally the Wonderdog's plaque?

Although they'll never openly admit it, the Fishing Blog Writers Association of America appears to hold a grudge against any bloggers of the "iPhone Era."  Even if you don't juice your numbers by blogging remotely via email, cellphones, Twitter, Facebook, (yeah, they've got an app for all that)...the feeling is that today's technology simply makes it too easy to accumulate cheap numbers quickly.  Fairly or not, you're automatically guilty by association.
Blogging been berry berry goo to me

In the voters eyes, today's achievements will never match those great blogging feats of your grandfather's generation - those epic posts that were written over dial-up modems that made a skrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhh sound when they turned them on.

So while this milestone would have once insured immortality, today I'm barely batting an impotent 8th in a lineup of other musclebound bloggers.  Oh well, I'll just need to accumulate my numbers over time...just like the real King did.

Now to the real message of the day.  Enjoy Spring Training everyone.  Come April 1st, The Four Aces (& Joe) await.
Thanks to Ivan's comment for today's inspiration.


February 23, 2011

Wednesday Nibbles - No Theme Randomness Edition

Hey - it's Wednesday Nibbles time again.  Oh how I missed writing these posts over the last few weeks.  I know they only really appeal to the mentally ill, but they're still fun to write.

Speaking of fun to write, the local newspaper's website picked up yesterday's attempt at a post and made it a "SPOTLIGHT" article on their homepage.  I thought that was kinda funny.  I write a post a day for quite some time and never get that kind of exposure on the Merc, but on the day I write about getting kicked in the nuts and run a video of top-heavy fisherbabes, voila!

Either the online editor lost a bet or it was a slow news day, either way I was honored to share my fifteen minutes of digital fame with the "Duct-Taped Baby's" Mom.
Spotlight - Idiot rants about Tuesday - no mention of ball kicking

Have you seen this video?  I'm actually only posting it for Owl since he has a creepy thing for LOL cats and has been spending all his time cranking out the latest incarnation of his site.  This video has been making the rounds this week on TV and stuff - so I present "Cat Bowling."



If it was me, I'd shoot that laser pointer toward a trash can, or a freeway, or the mom who evidently duct tapes babies.  I'm not a big fan of cats...sorry.

I haven't called out Acadia Sports Rods in a while.  Once upon a time I was a product tester for Acadia (through the WhereIFish.com forum) as they were developing their M-Series of rods.  Well, fast forward a few years and those rods are in production and available for sale.

If you're not familiar with this company, they make a solid rod at two different pricepoints - F-Series at $65 and M-Series at $100.  But that price isn't for one rod, it's for 2.  They sell their rods as a "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" program, and you can mix and match within series however you want.  Need a new spinning or baitcast rod and on a budget, check out Acadia.  Good bang for the buck - and even better customer service.
That's one nice lookin' reel seat

Carmelo Anthony got traded to the Knicks this week.  Hope he likes Manhattan.  I prefer Brooklyn (Decker).
The only reason to see that crappy Adam Sandler movie

Finally, time for the blog love.  This week's blog love goes to the "Noise on the Line" blog, aka the blog written by John over at Fish Creek Spinners.  Here's the deal, and I'll give you the straight skinny - John is looking for Google Followers.  He's trying to give away $50 worth of FREE SPINNERS by the end of the month, and is using the Followers widget as the "entry form."
Tape measure not included

Even without the giveaway, he writes some pretty insightful posts on how to fish spinners, lots of video of spinners in action, as well as some pretty detailed posts on product development.  Wanna know how to powder coat your own lure components...check this out.  Oh, and let me repeat myself - FREE SPINNERS...what are you waiting for?

February 22, 2011

Tuesday - The Kick in the Balls of Weekdays

I've always been under the opinion that Tuesdays are the worst day of the week.

Most people make the case that Monday, the beginning of the work week, is the worst day of the week.  This is evidenced as to how most try to cling to the weekend for as long as humanly possible, as if trying to stay up late on Sunday night will prevent the inevitable.  That said, once Monday arrives, it does allow for a bit of naive optimism that the fresh start of a new week brings.  "Yes, this week will surely be better than last week," you tell yourself as you cram a Pop-Tart down your throat and scamper off to work ready to trade stories of weekend fun with some colleagues by the coffee machine.
That tiger blouse would look better on the floor of my bass boat...Rawr!

Tuesday on the other hand brings the realization that this week is most likely going to suck just as bad as the last and well...there's still 4 more days to go until the weekend.  Tuesday doesn't have a fun name like "hump day," no, that's reserved for Wednesday.   There are not widely celebrated happy hours on Tuesday, that's usually set aside for Thirsty Thursday...and you certainly don't wear Hawaiian shirts to the office on Tuesday, as that festive fashion faux pas typically takes place on Fridays.  Thus my friends, Tuesday remains in my mind the worst day of the week.  What does it have going for it...Glee?  Don't even go there, it's mere presence on the Tuesday night TV schedule only further proves my point.

Because of this, I spent quite a bit of time wracking my brain trying to think of something to make today's (Tuesday's) read a bit more enjoyable.  See, general snarkiness aside, I'm not really a "glass half-empty" kind of guy. Unfortunately, my brain doesn't respond well to wracking, so when all else fails, one must revert to a common formula to find happiness.  Have a terrific Tuesday everyone.



February 21, 2011

I Wanna Be Like Mike

Yeah, that's what I found out when I went through my mail this weekend to pay the bills.


Evidently somebody decided they wanted to be me and open up both Target & Kay Jewelers' credit cards in my name last week.  Luckily, I'm a member of one of those credit protection services, so in addition to the "rejection" letter from Target (due to lack of proper background info) and a shiny new Kay gold card, I also got notices from Experian & Equifax that these jokers were up to no good.

Fear not loyal Troutrageous! followers, the credit bureaus have been notified and it doesn't appear that any of my real bank accounts or credit cards were hacked...just new lines of credit trying to be opened. And hey, identity thieves...I've gotta secret for you...click HERE and I'll tell ya.

On to more palatable news, I didn't get out fishing this weekend (we had like 150,000 mph winds on Saturday), but I was able to catch up on some blog reading, as well as hit a local Outdoors Show.  The show was a pretty good time.  I worked the booth for my trout club for a few hours, got to meet Matt from Functioning Fishaholics (& his eternally patient better half), and got to visit and chat with quite a few fishing manufacturers & retailers.  The retailer conversations were fun as I didn't tell them who I was.  I mean I didn't want them to be too intimidated by the aura that is Troutrageous!

Two of my favorites were Ultimate Fishing Maps and Shu-Fly Tackle & Fly Shop.  I'm not really going to write up much about either right now, as I may save that for another time, but please take a minute or two to visit their websites.  They both make some good stuff - I'm a fan of UFM's GPS technology & Shu-Fly's 6'6" 3-wt fly rod - and also seemed like honest folks, the kind you'd like to do business with.

Anyway, we'll see what this week has in store.  With the recent hiatus, my inbox has been accumulating a nice amount of randomness.  Not promising masterpieces of blog posts, but at least the material should flow freely...like when Howard remembers to take his fiber.

February 20, 2011

Guest Post - Spurky on Lake Ontario & Redline Sport Charters

Spurky seems to enjoy writing these guest posts.  I may have created a monster.  They keep piling up in my Facebook inbox.  So I guess I'll let him back.  In this installment, he gives some tips on maximizing a trip to Lake Ontario.
17 times over last 25 years, I have gone fishing out on Lake Ontario.  I prefer Lake Ontario better than Lake Erie for a few reasons - the locals are friendlier, it's easier to get to, and I've never had a bad time there.  I drive 6 miles to I-81 North, and stay on it for 4.5 hours, turn left at Exit 36 Pulaski, and drive until the road ends at Walla, Port Ontario.  The majority of the trip on I-81 is through the countryside with great scenery.
For 15 years, I went with the same guide, but during a hiatus when Samantha was young he retired.  2007 was my first trip back up in years, this time with Samantha, going after browns.  We had a fine trip, with a surprise steelhead for Sammy. 
In 2009 we went back up together.  Samantha loves the beach, so we went to Sandy Island Beach Park, which was fun, but got Sam nervous due to the height of the waves.  After the beach we hit Brandy's Sunrise Restaurant.  Brandy's has great food, personal service, and cheap, cheap prices.  We stayed at Costello's Cabins, because Sam loved them the last time, but Port Lodge is also just down the road.  Woody's Tackle Shop is right on corner, they have everything and ALWAYS give great fishing advice. 
We went out on Lake Ontario with Redline Sport Charters, (Patrick Thayer on Facebook). Samantha is super shy and quiet - well Patrick got her out of her shell and we had a great time!  
Fishing was down due to a nasty front that went through 2 days prior but we ended up with 4 nice kings, including Sam's first salmon.  It hit a dipsy diver 350 feet out.  By the time we got it stopped it was 475 feet out and then pulled 3 awesome runs!  It never gave up, diving 200 feet straight down when it got to the boat.
If you ever wanna go to Lake Ontario and do some fishing or hunting, look up Patrick Thayer on Facebook.  The man is an awesome guide!
Thanks again to Spurky for helping out by supplementing my recent lack of content.  Things should be more or less back to normal this week, but Spurky is always welcome, so you never know when or where he'll pop up again.


DISCLAIMER:
I've never been to Lake Ontario. That said, I trust Spurky's judgment and opinions of places & folks so I have no problem posting this endorsement of their operations. As with all guest posts on Troutrageous! the opinions expressed are solely those of the guest author as I'm generally too lazy to come up with opinions of my own.

February 17, 2011

You Snooze You Lose

Kinda pissed.  Was planning on updating my social "chicklets" last weekend.  You know those static Facebook and Twitter tags over there on the left hand side of my page that don't move when you scroll down.  They're kinda bland in their current form.  (Clif knows this has been on my mind for a while, as I've been openly lusting over his chicklets - mind out of the gutter, please - for some time)  I downloaded new and better graphics and everything last Saturday, but never got around to installing.
No, not those

Went to Trout Underground today for the first time in a while, and I saw TC's got virtually the same thing I was planning on putting up on his blog now, except on the right hand side.  Not sure when his went up, but now I'm gonna just look like some sort of jabroni poser.  But I guess nobody reads his blog anyway, so it won't be that bad, right?

Speaking of jabronis, anybody see "The Rock" is back?  Might have to start watching wrestling again.  If you smelllllllllllllllllllllll what Troutrageous!...is cookin'!




February 16, 2011

Pro Angler In Town

Got this email from Texas Roadhouse (you know steaks, buckets of peanuts, & Willie Nelson), that noted professional angler Mike DelVisco was going to be in town this Thursday (February 17th) for a night of fishing themed fun.

Since it's not everyday two of my favorite things directly intersect - fishing & eating - it seems like a fun way to spend a night.  Now I just need to convince the wife to go.  Plus there's fishing stuff giveaways, which always ups the ante.



February 15, 2011

Guest Post - Spurky on Blue Mountain Outfitters

Spurky is back with another guest post.  This time he professes love for Blue Mountain Outfitters, a canoe & kayak retailer just outside of Harrisburg, PA.

BMO is a outstanding full service paddle sports store, well actually train station...as the business is located in the old train station in Marysville, PA. If ya like paddling and trains thats your place, especially considering one set of train tracks is 3 feet from building!!!
BMO - Pot o' Gold at the end of the (double) rainbow!
They carry every conceivable item you would need for paddling, kayak, canoes, etc... The whole staff is well versed in the business and are super friendly, non pushy types! Hard to find now a days.

They carry both new and used equipment, so finding something in your budget should not be too hard. Float trips can also be scheduled with the staff, and rentals are available.

So if ya get the time check them out, and enjoy the wide open showrooms & good company. You will not regret it!

On that note, I thank Spurky for another guest post and once again picking up my slack.

DISCLAIMER:
I've never stepped foot in Blue Mountain Outfitters. That said, I trust Spurky's judgment and opinions of folks so I have no problem posting this endorsement of their operations. As with all guest posts on Troutrageous! the opinions expressed are solely those of the guest author as I'm generally too lazy to come up with opinions of my own.

February 12, 2011

News & Notes - Don't Call It Nibbles

No matter what you read below, I'm still on hiatus.

That said, it's 11:30 PM on Saturday night and I just closed the book on work stuff for the night.  Wanted to stretch my legs and write some fishing related randomness.

First off, I got a little care package in the mail this week.  Actually, not so much a care package, but the result of a fly swap held over at the Tenkara-Fisher forum.  I have to say, all of the ties are awesome (Karel over at Tenkara On The Fly is planning on "blogging" the swap, so I won't steal his thunder), but one struck me as very interesting and unusual.  There was a fly tied on a barbless hook with a wavy point like the one pictured below.
Waves in hooks as good as in potato chips - beats me?

The squiggle serves as kind of a barb without actually having one.  Being a relative noob to fly-tying, I've never used a hook like this...has anyone else?  I might pick some up and give them a try.

In other news, I spent much of today cruising blogs in my blogroll, leaving lots of comments in my wake.  While I appreciate on some level virtually all of what everyone writes, I think the recent posts over at Eat More Brook Trout were really outstanding.  Check them out if you have a spare minute or two.

While I still might not be writing much myself this week, my friend "Spurky" (offered to and) has already sent over some more guest post material, so keep an eye out for that in upcoming days.  It's a mere copy and paste away.  I think he's gonna get his own "label".
"Spurky" is a real person, not one of my multiple personalities.

Finally, I also noticed that since I went on my break from writing overall site traffic is way down (expected), but I've also added 4 Google Followers (unexpected) in the process.  Interesting contradiction, but appreciated nonetheless.  Welcome aboard all.

February 9, 2011

Enjoy Your Vacation

You probably dropped in expecting to read Wednesday Nibbles today.  Ain't gonna happen.  Rather, I'm going to use this forum to announce a self-imposed hiatus from blogging.  Note I said hiatus, not retirement.

Without totally spilling the beans on what goes on at my day job (mystery always makes things sound more exciting than they actually are), it revolves around sports.  Two of said sports are holding very, very large events this month - requiring much more time at night doing work stuff on the computer rather than blogging.  I've tried to balance the two the last week or so but haven't been pleased with the results (or lack of sleep).

So for maybe the next few weeks you can expect a random post here or there, but not the daily content I usually uncontrollably spew like projectile vomit.  Rather, I'll take what time I do have to check out and comment on your blogs.  To keep relevant, you may even find some posts on the OBN Forum or the Troutrageous! Facebook or Twitter pages.  (If you're not following on either of those, why the heck not!?)

Like I said in the title of this post, enjoy your vacation; you've put up with my blogging nonsense for a while, so it's time away well deserved.

February 7, 2011

Gear Review - Streamside Leaders Mystic Creek Tenkara Line

I had recently ordered a Mystic Creek tenkara line from Streamside Leaders for my 11' Tenkara USA Iwana tenkara rod.  I was able to spend quite a bit of time with it yesterday and here are my two cents.

Background:
The Mystic Creek tenkara line is slightly different in composition than the Monofilament tenkara line I reviewed in September.  While the monofilament line is simply furled strands of monofilament (duh), the Mystic Creek line is mainly furled polyester thread with a short section of furled mono near the tippet ring.  I purchased a 10.5' "Green Hopper" Mystic Creek tenkara line for this review.
Green Hopper Tenkara Line

Performance:
The Mystic Creek line is much more supple than the mono version.  You notice this immediately after opening the package.  Once put into action, it casts very, very softly, and it will drop your fly like a feather on the water.

Another benefit I immediately noticed (due to some inaccurate casting due to user error) was that this line does not collapse into itself like a slinky if you get it snagged on a rock or tree branch.  It may twist slightly, but it seems to have virtually no memory whatsoever.  A big plus if that is something that frustrates you about the mono version.

While this has nothing to do with performance, it should be noted that if color is your game, the Mystic Creek line comes in 35 color combinations where as the Monofilament lines come in 8.

With the more delicate line, there are also some drawbacks.  The first is that it doesn't cast that well when windy.  There was a slight breeze while testing, and casing into that breeze was very challenging, even with a quick, snapping cast.  The furled mono line handles this much better.

A second drawback is that should you get a windknot that tightens up, it's almost impossible to get it out.  Trying to pick apart the strands of thread that comprise this furled line is a futile task (and risks fraying), you just have to take your knot and like it.

In terms of lines on the water, both lines perform about the same.  If you're tenkara fishing correctly, your line should largely stay off the water, however nether style of line floats.  The Mystic Creek did seem to take on (absorb) a bit more water than the mono line, but even that considered, it was far from heavy to cast.

Takeaways:
If fishing dries is your game, the Mystic Creek tenkara line should be your choice.  It will softly and gently present your fly with ease.  It's a great specialty line in that regard.  It can handle wets & nymphs as well, I just found those types of flies tend to cast easier with the mono line.  Thus if you're looking for a more "all-around" line that does a little bit of everything well, I'd choose the original Monofilament tenkara line.

In the end, it's all about angler preference.  I'm personally going to stick with the mono line, but it doesn't mean the Mystic Creek is not a quality product.  Lucky for us all of these lines are relatively inexpensive, so mixing & matching for different fishing situations is not only easy, but affordable.

DISCLAIMER:
The Mystic Creek tenkara line tested in this product review was bought by me at full $15.99 retail; I currently hold no association with Streamside Leaders whatsoever. As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll let you know that too. That said, I probably wont waste my or your time reviewing something that sucks, unless it's really that bad.

February 6, 2011

Humbled by the Skunk

Ok, let's try this Android Blogger app...

I rolled out of bed this morning excited with the prospects of finally going fishing.  I hadn't been out since New Year's Day, so by my standards, I was well overdue.  Today's temperatures were to be in the low 40s; tropical when compared to the last month or so.

As you can probably tell by the title of this post, the fishing was unremarkable.  I just wasn't in a groove from the start, losing two flies in probably my first ten casts.  I ended up in way more trees and snagged in more rocks than normal, and sadly, left too many soldiers behind.

Two positives, I got to use two pieces of new equipment extensively - the Freshwater Fly mini fly clip and the Streamside Leaders Mystic Creek tenkara line.  The clip performed flawlessly and is one sweet little item.  The line...well more on that in its own review post tomorrow.

In the end, it was great just to be out, fish or no fish.  Today's skunking...just water under the bridge.



February 5, 2011

FISKERESOR.NU!!!!

It's late, I'm tired, and have nothing. So video filler time...

The take is at about 1:20 and the landing starts at about 4:00 should you want to skip ahead.
I'm not claiming the fight's awesome, but it's a nice chunky rainbow at the end of the line.




FISKERESOR.NU. I just like typing that. I think it's a guide service of some sort, but I'm not sure.  Swedish words are so funny.

February 4, 2011

Items of Note

Some things popped up in the last 24 hours that I think are sort of newsworthy.  So this post is kinda like Wednesday Nibbles, just no stupid videos.

Blogger App for Android
Blogger Buzz announced yesterday the official Blogger App for Android smartphones.  Since I got my Android phone a few months back, I've tried a few "unofficial" Blogger apps, but to be honest have found them to be pretty clunky and lacking the features I was accustomed to. This one is really much better, a much truer Blogger experience.  Worth the free download if you have an Android phone and are on the Blogger platform. You never know when inspiration might strike.
Blogging on the move...

Cabela's Hardcover Catalog
They're evidently starting to make the rounds.  This is the first time I've received one, so I guess Cabela's is finally recognizing all of that gift card money I spend with them.  I assume that's how you get one of these as opposed to the standard softcover.  I just wonder...is it too nice to sit next to the porcelain throne with the rest of my fishing catalogs?
10 pounds of goodness

Interview at Ben G. Outdoors
As if my ego wasn't humongously enormous already, blogbuddy Ben G. over at Ben G. Outdoors recently asked me if I'd like to do an interview for his blog.  Flattered & honored by the gesture I agreed, and he posted it to his site yesterday.  I always thought I'd end up featured on Abnormal Outdoors before BGO, but if you simply can't get enough of Troutrageous!, you can check it out at his blog HERE.
The coolest Ben since Franklin.

That's about it for today.  Really looking forward to this weekend.  This was a pretty tough work week.  Not sure if I'll get in any fishing, but you never know.

February 3, 2011

A Guest Post? The YakDaddy Slider

Today brings something new to Troutrageous!  A guest post of sorts, from a fisherfriend I met on the PAanglers.com forum and have had the pleasure of sharing some time on the water with.

Jim, aka "Spurky" is one heck of a multi-species angler...not to mention the dude speaks whatever language trout do...so when he recommends something I listen.  He sent me a message on Facebook the other night asking me to write a post about a product he's fond of...

"...this product I just got from YakDaddy and it is an awesome set up for sit on top kayaks. Holds a lot, real convenient, and is well designed and put together. Would you post it on your T1 blog?"

Liking the idea, but not owning a kayak myself (so no context), I asked him to elaborate a bit and said I'd happily post it here. One less post I actually have to write myself, you know? So here's a guest product review, a la Spurky.


"The Slider is a fishing system for use on sit on top kayaks. Basically it comes in a complete package. I watched video and thought it would be a better idea than having rod mounts in set positions. I now can troll with ease, just by sliding it forward and setting the rod angles. Pulling it back I can still fish with everything right at my finger tips, no reaching around behind me for my tackle box or drink (drink holder was added by me,it has pre-drilled holes for extras). The tacklebox included is a fantastic one with lots of storage. I think anyone who fishes alot with a SOT, this would be a great addition!"

(For more on the Slider, visit the YakDaddy website HERE)



I know there's some 'yak anglers out there reading this blog. What do you think of the Slider? You got one? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

DISCLAIMER:
I've never touched the YakDaddy Slider featured in this product review. I assume Spurky currently holds no association with YakDaddy whatsoever and bought this with his own hard-earned money. If he was secretly a salesman for YakDaddy, he'd probably tell me, as anyone who knows Spurky knows he ain't shy. As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my opinions honest and unbiased, even when I don't write them myself.

February 2, 2011

Wednesday Nibbles - Monkeys Run Amok Edition

This winter has been brutal.  Seems like every 3 or 4 days we get hit with snow, and lucky for me the ice storms are evidently coming this week.  Now it's not enough snow to cripple the region (despite what the weathermen say), but enough to make all the shoveling a pain, create stupid slow traffic jams, and make fishing opportunities few and far between.  At least some humor can be found in the local weather big board....
He's in the wrong profession.

On that note, time for the nibbles...

Got this email from Bass Pro yesterday.  Looks like they did an off-price buy on some of last year's Pflueger Supreme XT spinning reels.  Originally $129.99, now $69.88.  Gotta make room for the 2011s I guess.  I've never used this reel so I can't say if it's good or bad (it did get a 4.4/5.0 customer rating), but seems like a good deal, at least from a savings standpoint.
Hot Buy?  Sure, why not.

Now I treated you all to a stupid video yesterday, but here's an equally stupid video that I assume will entertain and amaze and all that good stuff...it's far from new (it has over 4 and a half million views since last fall) but tell me you won't be humming this tune after watching this.



Midcurrent's Ask The Expert section posed the question "Imitation or Presenation" in last week's newsletter.  Lots of good responses/opinions from very reputable sources.  It's a very good read if you have 10 or so minutes.  I'm not typically serious in the nibbles, but I enjoyed this so much I figured I'd pass it on.  For real. There's no imitation in this presentation.
Not a MidCurrent subscriber?  Change that now.

Is there a football game or something this weekend?  Oh, yeah, that's right, I guess there is.  So who are you rooting for, Packers, Steelers, or the commercials?  I really don't care who wins the game, but I've got my fingers crossed that standbys like Coke, Pepsi, Miller Lite, & Budweiser bring their A-Game.  Everything old is new again, so I think it might be time to bring Spuds MacKenzie out of mothballs...I mean the "Big Game" is in Dallas this year after all.



Finally, I got the blessing of the better half to go "have fun" at this summer's (date TBA) OBN Rendezvous in Colorado.  K.C. has no interest in going, so I guess I'm rollin' solo.

Speaking of the OBN, I'm going to use their weekly writing prompt as a way to share the blog love this week.  I believe the question was "Which Outdoor Bloggers Would You Like To Meet?"
Pleased to meet you

Now I read & actively participate in a lot of great blogs, but I suppose this is my short list (there's so many so this was pretty tough).  Mel from Blog Cabin Angler, Shoreman from Northern California Trout, Clif from Lunker Hunt, Ben from Ben G. Outdoors, and maybe that guy from Georgia.

Honestly, I was originally going to make that a list of all female bloggers (such as Kari, RD, Lizzy, Stephanie, & Tami)...but I don't want my travel ticket to be revoked.